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A Coast-Hopper’s Honest Experience With Homesickness

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCLA chapter.

If you were to go back in time and tell high school me just how homesick I was in 2024, I wouldn’t believe you. Like a caged bird as soon as their barred door opens, high school me wanted to get as far away from home as possible. 2000 miles away, to be exact. Now, since living in California for the past three years, I’ve become increasingly familiar with that previously impossible feeling of homesickness.

When I first moved to California, I found it difficult to want to leave. Staying in the dorms anytime they were open and finding alternate plans for breaks in an attempt to stay away from home. This wasn’t necessarily because I didn’t like being home, I think I was just longing for something different and new. When I was home I felt weighed down by the life I had lived there thus far, everything reminding me of the past, even though I only wanted to look forward. This was the same with my decision to dye my hair platinum blonde; being able to look in the mirror and see someone new was just the refreshing change that I needed. But you know what they say: distance makes the heart grow fonder. 

On top of the growing discomfort that the substantial difference between the west coast and east coast has caused for me, I’ve started to miss the parts of my life that I had been previously running away from. I reached a certain point where I had gotten over the mishaps of the past and needed, not just wanted, all parts of me back in my life. As I’ve worked through the issues of the past, I realize that all of that is part of me. The progress I’ve made as a person becomes much more substantial in relation to how I used to live my life. 

Now visiting home has become such a treat, to reflect and ground myself, even causing me to extend my trips home on multiple occasions. New York is my home, it’s where my family is, where my history is, and where who I am as a person formed. I don’t even think the word “homesickness” alone is enough to describe the increasing strength of my emotional attachment to my home.

Ariana, or Aria, is a third year philosophy major at UCLA. She enjoys fashion, 19th and 20th century feminism novels, cartoons, shoegaze music, rock climbing, baking, and spending time with friends.